Websites set up for B2B ecommerce must have certain elements in order to ensure the best customer experience.
These sites are referred to as B2B ecommerce solutions, rather than just websites or shopping carts.
When the right elements are present, sales increase and word spreads about how easy it is to do business with your company online. What are these key elements?
Here are the top 5 B2B Ecommerce solutions that experts say your online business should have:
Everybody likes things to happen faster, and this includes B2B buyers. However, the speed at which the site operates isn't the only "speed" that's important in this scenario.
You also need speed on your end – but in this case, you want a fast setup, quick return on your investment, and the ability to quickly adapt to changing trends in both demand and online sales.
Your ecommerce solution also needs to allow you to provide a speedy response to your customers. It should let you easily find out who has ordered what, so you can quickly acknowledge and ship out the orders, complete with any invoices or other documentation that is needed.
In some ways, this is a subset of speed, but in other cases, it refers to the ability to quickly adapt to changing needs.
Old-fashioned ecommerce sites are hard to change, and entering inventory data or updating prices takes hours. A modern solution lets you upload data in a variety of ways, eliminating the chore of manual updates. It also lets you do things like only upload part of your inventory, typically the types of things smaller customers order, so you can reserve the attention of your sales force for your larger clients or more-expensive items.
Good site agility also allows you to adapt to more general trends in online business. For example, it's easy to change the way the site looks, which features are prominent, and similar factors. This ensures that your ecommerce solution won't feel dated to users after five or 10 years of operation. In turn, your entire company will seem fresh and ready to tackle whatever your customers currently need or want.
3. Intuitive Search Function
It's very aggravating to go on a site to buy something, know that the company should have the item, and not be able to find its page to make the purchase. This problem can be solved by having an intuitive search function right on the site.
Your search function should be truly integrated with the rest of the platform, so the customer is never exposed to listings from competing sources.
Simply having a search bar isn't enough. Many sites have search bars that turn out to be outright useless at their purported functions. Be sure that your site's search actually returns the right result, and that the platform is able to do so quickly.
All too often, B2B sales is needlessly complicated, as if business customers all have PhD's in engineering or accounting. In reality, B2B buyers are just like everyone else – and they want simplicity, just like everyone else.
Your B2B ecommerce solution should be at least as easy for customers to use as any major B2C ecommerce site.
When everything is extra-clear, people feel more comfortable ordering since they don't have to worry about making a possibly-expensive mistake.
5. Extra B2B-Centric Features
B2B buyers are on your site because it's part of their jobs. Although they aren't interested in common B2C extras like "related products.", they still except to have the B2C experience when purchasing from a vendor.
They want B2B features like the ability to save commonly-purchased items to a list for easy reordering, correlation between their product numbers and yours, and content like manuals and spec sheets. These things make their jobs easier and faster, and they will show their appreciation by buying through your site more often.
This video explains other core features and functions of B2B ecommerce.
Getting everything set up doesn't require you to have an in-house technical specialist on staff. Instead, it's a good idea to hire a B2B digital agency to do the work.
A digital agency understands the unique needs of B2B ecommerce solutions, and knows when – and when not – to use features that are common on typical ecommerce sites. The result is a tailored solution that meets the needs and expectations of your customers, allows you to conduct your own business more efficiently, and that can adapt to changes in the marketplace.
B2B Ecommerce Solutions Experts
Graphically Speaking, a Magento B2B development company, is a digital agency and an expert in the ecommerce marketing industry. At Graphically Speaking, we use Magento, an extremely popular ecommerce platform, as the base for a wide variety of B2B-centric upgrades.As a Magento Certified Partner, we offer solutions highly stable thanks to the years of refinement that have been applied to the base code. Its B2B-focused customization include an array of further refinements to perfectly address the needs of wholesalers, manufacturers, distributors, and others.
If you have realized that you need to modernize your B2B ecommerce solution, contact us today. Our Certified Magento Solution Specialists will discuss all of your requirements with you to find the best ecommerce solution for both you and you customers. Those on both sides of your site will then be glad to use it thanks to increased efficiency, better user-friendliness, and faster operation.
We can help you understand what you should look for when choosing your web design company.